Cleveland Heights-University Heights Lay Facilities Committee Frequently Asked Questions
If your question is not answered here, please use the form below to submit it or see the “How can I make a comment to or ask a question of the committee?” question.
The district’s master facilities blog is an excellent resource, and you can reach it by clicking here.
Successful implementation of a comprehensive school facilities plan will require continued cooperation among the school district, school board, and community. The board determined that citizens had enough questions about the plan presented in 2012 (Plan C) to make it unlikely that a bond issue would pass in 2012. While substantial efforts to engage the community have been undertaken, the scope and importance of this project led the board to pause the process to allow time for greater knowledge of the need for a facilities plan and public participation in its design. The Lay Facilities Committee is part of that effort. It will build on, not duplicate, work that’s already been done.
The committee will issue a final report in May 2013 to the CH-UH Board of Education. The report, which will build on work already done, will include a menu of options for the board that will help inform their decisions on how to proceed with a facilities plan.
Every meeting starting with the Oct. 24 meeting will include time for public comment and questions. Every page on this site has a comment feature at the bottom. Those comments are emailed to committee chair Patrick Mullen and shared with the committee. He can also be reached at 216.932.5110 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The committee will meet in our school buildings, every three weeks. The first meeting was Oct. 3 at Heights High. The second meeting is Oct. 24 at 7 pm at Gearity Professional Development School. Subsequent meeting times and places will be announced as soon as they’re determined.
All five members of the CH-UH Board of Education identified constituencies that should be represented on the committee. Board President Karen Jones worked from those lists in extending invitations to take part in the committee’s work
The Cleveland Heights-University Heights Board of Education determined in July 2012 that insufficient community support existed to pass a facilities bond issue in November 2012. In August 2012, FutureHeights and Reaching Heights convened a meeting of interested stakeholders, Superintendent Heuer, and school board members. Reaching Heights director Patrick Mullen presented four recommendations that emerged from this meeting to the school board during the public comment section of the August 7 school board meeting. Recommendation 4 was creation of a Lay Facilities Committee. His remarks: I’m here on behalf of Reaching Heights, a community non-profit dedicated to excellence in our schools and community engagement in their success, and on behalf of another local non-profit, FutureHeights, which has as part of its mission to maximize community knowledge of and engagement in major decisions that will shape our community. The future of our district’s school facilities is an issue of great interest to both organizations, and we’re working together to find ways to move the facilities process forward during the time provided by the School Board by its July 17 vote against placing a bond issue on this November’s ballot. To that end, we held an initial meeting last week, and I appreciate that board members and the superintendent took time to attend. Coming out of that meeting, I’m here tonight to urge the School Board to use the time we now have to actively lead the next phase of the facilities process in a way that can build community-wide confidence in and support for a facilities plan in 2013. First, I want to acknowledge all the work that’s already been done by the district’s administration, its consultants, and you on the Board. Thank you. Now we need to build on that work. As you know, action next year is critical, because after next year, we will no longer qualify for an important piece of funding available to us as a Special Needs District, and probably won’t qualify for the rest of the decade. There are four actions we urge the board to take: 1. Resolve the Milliken issue. Building on the successful reuse of the Coventry building, it will increase confidence in the district’s ability to re-use former school buildings, while providing a valuable use as a school to an important part of our community. 2. Actively engage the cities of Cleveland Heights and University Heights, their mayors and councils, and the Heights Library, in the facilities plan and other initiatives that affect the entire community. I likewise call on the City Councils to work more closely with you. 3. Re-open Plan C, the facilities plan adopted on July 3, for revision. Even supporters of a comprehensive facilities plan have significant questions about the plan’s design. Simply using the next months to sell Plan C, without critically determining if it’s the best plan for the entire community, isn’t enough. 4. More fully involve the entire community in the facilities plan: why it’s needed, what it will cost and how we’ll pay for it, its design, and how it will improve teaching and learning in our schools. To that end, I recommend that the Board endorse the establishment of a Lay Facilities Committee, along the lines of the Lay Finance Committee. This group can facilitate the next phase of community engagement, building on all the hard work that’s already been done, and drawing on professionals this area who have already expressed a willingness to help. In summary, we’re calling on the Board to take ownership of the facilities process, fix the plan where needed, and sell it to the community. And we’re offering the help of Reaching Heights, FutureHeights, and many dedicated citizens to help make that happen. Thank you.
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Questions posed in the FAQ section will be answered and posted as quickly as possible. The design of the FAQ tool requires a response before it can be posted.
Questions posed to the FAQ will be answered and posted as quickly as possible. Comments are currently moderated, which means an administrator must approve them before they are posted, though we are reviewing this practice.